Environmental Investigations in Progress

Environmental Investigations in Progress

How we manage site investigations

The discovery of asbestos containing material is not uncommon across Australia due to its popularity as a building material until the 1980s. In Penrith, Council treats the discovery of asbestos with strict policies and procedures as the safety of our staff and the community is our number one priority. 

In most cases, asbestos found in our area is non-friable. This type poses a lower risk due to the fibres being bound together with cement type material. NSW Health outline that this type of asbestos, if in good condition or left undisturbed, does not present a significant health risk. Further information on asbestos can be found on NSW Health website.

Council’s Divisional Assurance Team respond and manage asbestos related matters that impact Council owned land and buildings. When asbestos is found, strict procedures are implemented to ensure that the community and our workers are safe. The team works with licensed asbestos contractors, licensed asbestos assessors, consultants, and NSW Hazmat units to ensure that all SafeWork NSW and Environment Protection Authority requirements are met. This includes (but is not limited to) removing any asbestos risks, implementing suitable controls, undertaking air monitoring and clearance inspections in accordance with SafeWork NSW Code of Practice and undertake detailed environmental Investigations where more complex situations arise.

To meet all these requirements and depending on the complexity of the situation, it can take some time to undertake all necessary investigation, clean up the site and conduct remediation works. Suitable controls are implemented and we strive to provide effective communication to the public in proximity to the site and any groups or organisations who use the site on these matters.

We take every asbestos matter seriously and take all measures necessary to protect our community and workers.

Redden Ave and Stafford Street, Penrith

5 November 2019

Recently, Council staff were made aware of asbestos concerns on a job site located on the corner of Redden Ave and Stafford Street, Penrith. The work was being undertaken by an electrical contractor as part of the Nepean Hospital upgrade.

Council implements strict procedures and controls to ensure the ongoing safety of the community and our staff on these matters. A licensed asbestos assessor has been engaged by Council to assist with the matter and they have provided a clearance certificate outlining that there are no asbestos concerns on the surface. Additional monitoring has also outlined that there are no concerns with asbestos fibres in the air.

In addition, geofabric and parra-webbing has also been placed in the affected areas to ensure the ongoing safety of our community.

Council will now work with the licensed asbestos assessor and contractors to ensure that the appropriate assessments are undertaken and any removal works are conducted in accordance with SafeWork NSW and Environment Protection Authority requirements.

Penrith City Council takes every asbestos incident seriously. The safety of residents, Council workers and your pets is our number one priority.

We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause and thank you for your understanding. Should you require any further information, please contact Council's Divisional Assurance team on(02) 4732 8673

Peppermint Reserve, Kingswood

23 October 2019

During an inspection of Peppermint Reserve, Kingswood, on 21 October 2019, Council staff identified several fragments of suspected asbestos containing material (ACM) on the ground surface.

As soon as the suspected ACM was discovered, Council staff immediately implemented strict procedures to make the area safe. The fragments were removed by a licensed asbestos contractor with the site being assessed by an independent SafeWork NSW licensed asbestos assessor. The good news is that this assessor has provided a clearance certificate for the site and declared it safe. 

Non-friable asbestos in good condition does not pose a health risk as the asbestos fibres are bound together, however, Council views any asbestos contamination as a serious matter.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Robinson Park, Jamsiontown

27 September 2019

During an inspection of Robinson Park Park on the 27th September 2019, Council staff identified several fragments of suspected asbestos containing material (ACM) on the ground surface.

As soon as the suspected ACM was discovered, Council staff immediately implemented strict procedures to make the area safe. On the same day the fragments were removed by a licensed asbestos contractor with the site being assessed by an independent SafeWork NSW licensed asbestos assessor. The good news is that this assessor has provided a clearance certificate for the site and declared it safe. 

Non-friable asbestos in good condition does not pose a health risk as the asbestos fibres are bound together, however, Council views any asbestos contamination as a serious matter.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Victoria Street, Werrington

30 September 2019

Recently, suspected non-friable asbestos fragments were discovered on vacant Council land located at 176 Victoria Street, Werrington (west of the Colonial Hotel).  

As soon as the suspected asbestos was found, Council staff immediately implemented strict procedures to make the area safe. In turn, the asbestos containing material was removed.

As a precaution, Council has fenced off the area pending further investigations of the site. These investigation will be undertaken by a Licensed Asbestos Assessor and will ensure that all SafeWork NSW and Environment Protection Authority requirements are followed.

Penrith City Council takes every asbestos incident seriously. The safety of residents and secure removal of materials is our number one priority.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Kommer Place, St Marys

4 September 2019

As you may be aware Council recently found suspected asbestos containing material on the road reserve island adjacent to Kommer Place, St Marys.

As soon as the suspected ACM was discovered, Council staff immediately implemented strict procedures to make the area safe. At the time the area was assessed by an independent SafeWork NSW licensed asbestos assessor who issued a clearance certificate for the site. Air monitoring was also undertaken in line with SafeWork NSW requirements and these results confirmed there were no concerns regarding airborne asbestos fibres from the site impacting the community.

As part of Council’s assessment of the situation, a Licensed Asbestos Assessor has been engaged to undertake further environmental investigations of this land. The work was undertaken on the 11 September 2019 (weather permitting) and will involve sampling from 15 test pits within the fenced off area. All SafeWork NSW and Environment Protection Authority requirements will be met during these investigations, including air monitoring to ensure that there are no airborne asbestos concerns.

Council is still awaiting the final environmental report, however a small section at the northern end of the land is being covered in geofabric as a precaution under the advice of the Licensed Asbestos Assessor.

Penrith City Council takes every asbestos incident seriously. The safety of residents, Council workers, the community and your pets is our number one priority.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Jamison Park Dog Park

15 October 2019

Penrith City Council recently informed the community of asbestos remediation works at Jamison Park Dog Park, South Penrith. These works are currently being conducted by a licenced asbestos removal company and a Licensed Asbestos Assessor.

The initial remediation action plan and design was proposed to be finalised by September 2019. Unfortunately, due to unexpected time delays, the remediation project has exceeded this estimated completion date.

Council appreciates that the project is taking longer than initially expected to complete, however, it is vital that all necessary safety and environmental requirements have been addressed. Please note, the remediation works at the Park are almost complete, with a revised completion date expected for November 2019.

While remediation takes place, a smaller, temporary dog park has been provided immediately to the south of the existing park and will be available for the community’s use. Council has a number of other dog parks across the local government area if you decide that you would like to take your dog to an alternative dog park. These are located at:

  • Soling Crescent, Cranebrook
  • Village Oval, Jordan Springs
  • Saddler Way, Glenmore Park
  • Wedmore Road, Emu Heights
  • Victoria Street, Werrington
  • Melville Road, St Clair
  • Boronia Road, North St Marys

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Saunders Park Asbestos Update

12 February 2020

Investigations undertaken at Saunders Park, St Clair, have revealed that areas of the site are impacted by asbestos containing material. All the material is situated underground and air monitoring undertaken during the investigations showed there is no risk to the public.

Since becoming aware of the asbestos on site, Council has undertaken the following to ensure the site is safe:

  • Removed all asbestos from the ground surface.
  • Implemented suitable asbestos management controls.
  • Engaged SafeWork NSW Licensed Asbestos Assessors to inspect and provide Clearance Certificates.
  • Undertaken air monitoring in line with SafeWork NSW requirements. (The air monitoring showed that there is no risk of airborne asbestos to the community).
  • Engaged suitably qualified consultants to undertake detailed sub-surface investigations of the site. All assessments were conducted in line with SafeWork NSW and Environment Protection Authority requirements.
  • The investigations on site outline that there is non-friable asbestos below the ground surface which requires remediation. This material was found not to be in a deteriorated state.
  • Prepare a Remedial Action Plan for the site.

Further information on the remediation project.

If you require further information on this matter, please contact the Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673.

Steamroller Park Update

18 December 2019

As you may have seen, works at Steamroller Park, Cambridge Park, are well advanced. Over the past few months, Penrith City Council’s contractors have worked to remove asbestos contamination from the site and undertake site improvement and encapsulation works.

As outlined previously, all the works are being undertaken by a SafeWork NSW Licensed Asbestos Contractor who is being overseen by an independent qualified environmental and asbestos consultant. As part of the management of the site, appropriate air monitoring has been undertaken by the consultant to ensure the works do not pose any risk to the community or workers on site.

Large portions of the site will have turf laid over the coming weeks. With the current water restrictions in place, Council has installed a temporary water tank which will allow reclaimed water to be used on the site, ensuring we comply with all Sydney Water requirements.

As you can appreciate, laying turf during a long hot summer is a serious challenge for Council, however, the turf is an important part of the project as it will minimise dust and loss of topsoil from the site. The turf will be watered regularly using the reclaimed water, but you still may find that the turf could temporarily brown off during and after very hot days.

The final stages of the project include:

  • The establishment of turf across the site
  • Finishing off the hardstand of the playground
  • Installation of playground equipment
  • Finalising all other landscape aspects of the site

With consideration to the holiday period, it is anticipated the park will be open in February 2020.

Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact James Craig on 4732 7416.

Chesham Street, St Marys

16 August 2019

Recently Council staff have been made aware of non-friable asbestos below the surface at 11-13 Chesham Street, St Marys. These concerns were established through environmental investigations undertaken on site. In addition, the site has also been subject to illegal dumping.

Non-friable asbestos in good condition does not pose a health risk as the asbestos fibres are bound together, however, Council views any asbestos contamination as a serious matter.

The environmental investigation found that the concerns related to non-friable asbestos below the ground surface. A Clearance Certificate issued by an independent Licensed Asbestos Assessor has confirmed this. Air monitoring has been undertaken in line with SafeWork NSW requirements and confirmed there are no concerns regarding airborne asbestos fibres from the site impacting the community.

Council staff have implemented strict controls to ensure the ongoing safety of the community and our staff. This includes fencing the area off to restrict access. In addition, Council will be implementing measures to minimise the risk of illegally dumping on the site.

Penrith City Council takes every asbestos incident seriously. The safety of residents, Council workers and your pets is our number one priority.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Hickeys Lane, Penrith

Environmental Investigations are also planned for the open space area between Hickey’s Lane and Hillcrest Ave, North Penrith. This area was used an old storage and disposal area for Council operations in the 1990s. 

In late 1990s the site did receive some remediation treatments including site capping. It is important to note that the site does not currently pose a risk to users, however, to ensure the long-term safety of the site for all park users and Council workers, a detailed environmental investigation is being undertaken. The investigation is due to commence on the 6 May 2019 and will take approximately four weeks to complete.

These investigations will include the collection of soil, groundwater and gas data as well as an assessment of the embankment along the western side of the site.

Suitable fencing and signage will remain in place at both parks and at Hickeys Lane during the investigations and all adjacent residents and relevant stakeholders will be informed prior to the commencement of the investigations.

Penrith City Council takes every asbestos incident seriously. The safety of residents and secure removal of materials is our number one priority.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673

Dorothy Radford Reserve, St Clair

24 February 2020

During an inspection of Dorothy Radford Reserve on Friday 21 February 2020, Council staff identified several fragments of suspected bonded asbestos material on the ground surface.

Bonded (non-friable) asbestos in good condition does not pose a health risk as the asbestos fibres are bound together, however, Council views any asbestos incident as a serious matter.

As soon as the suspected ACM was discovered, Council staff immediately implemented strict procedures to make the area safe. Council arranged for a licensed asbestos contractor to remove the asbestos material. In turn, the site was assessed by an independent SafeWork NSW licensed asbestos assessor.

At the completion of the works, the licensed assessor provided a clearance certificate in line with SafeWork NSW requirements and declared it safe for public use. 

Penrith City Council takes every asbestos incident seriously. The safety of residents and secure removal of materials is our number one priority.

Thank you for your understanding and should you have any questions regarding this matter please contact Council's Divisional Assurance Team on (02) 4732 8673